You won’t find a ‘badass’ section in your local bike shop but if you look carefully you’ll find certain components that can't fail to make your bike look cooler.
We’re not talking about performance here, although most of the products below are designed to give you some sort of advantage in terms of weight, aerodynamics, or whatever. That’s not the point, though, and practicality certainly isn’t a consideration either. No, we’re simply and unashamedly showing you stuff that look badass. That’s it.
If you want to point out that a £3,500 set of wheels just isn’t a sensible purchase for most of us, fill yer boots, but sensible and cool are two different things.
That brings us on to one other factor: cost. Cool bike components aren’t necessarily expensive… but they usually are. If they were cheap everyone would have them, and if everyone had them they wouldn't be cool any more. Sorry, I'm not particularly happy about this either to be perfectly honest with you, but that's just the way the world works. Don’t shoot the messenger.
If you’ve got other badass components to add to our list, let’s hear about them in the comments below.
Of course, you can use the standard cables that come fitted to your bike or in the pack with your new shifters, but they’re just not badass. Nokon cables, on the other hand, with anodised aluminium outers, are. The practical reasons for fitting them are decreased friction and lightweight, but the main thing is that they look very cool.
The idea of ceramic jockey wheels is that they reduce drivetrain friction. That’s all well and good but the committed badassateer knows that the fact that they look cool is equally important so don’t go for anonymous black or grey. You need to choose red, orange, purple or blue for maximum points.
“£3,500 for a set of wheels?!?”
Yes, but with their Sawtooth rim profile these look fast even when stationary. Yes, but the shaping is inspired by the pectoral fin of a humpback whale and how many other wheels can boast that?
(It's none, by the way).
The Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Tekno Superflow is the ultimate statement saddle. Engineered in partnership with an F1 constructor, it is a carbon fibre chassis for your sit bones that's jaw-droppingly expensive, breathtakingly light, beautifully finished and actually surprisingly comfortable.
So you noticed that THM’s Carbones Clavicula cranks aren’t cheap (the price above is without the chainrings). They are all carbon, though, including the axle, and very lightweight at just 420g (including bottom bracket).
You’re absolutely right, a combined handlebar and stem doesn’t give you the set-up versatility of separate components but it's still somehow cooler. Maybe it’s because it gives the front of your bike a cleaner look. Vision's Metron 6D cockpit is made from carbon fibre, of course, and has loads of internal channels for your cables or hoses, again adding to the neatness.
Light weight is badass so these brakes are off to a good start at just 104g per brake. Chuck in the fact that they have forged and CNC machined magnesium arms, titanium hardware and SwissStop pads and you’re onto a winner.
The Mandible has been around for a long time now and it still looks cool. It weighs just 28g and it holds your water bottle ultra secure. It might only be a water bottle cage but it’ll increase the sexiness of your bike by 9%*.
Most headset caps are fairly nondescript and not remotely badass, and for that reason they must go. Kapz will put anything you want onto a headset cap with prices starting at £16.95
Do you have any more suggestions? Let us know down below.
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As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.
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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.